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Cayenne Know Your Herbs and Spices

IMG_7951 cayenne peppers

IMG_7951 cayenne peppers (Photo credit: godutchbaby)

Cayenne Pepper Know Your Herbs and Spices

Powdered cayenne pepper that you buy in the spice section is actually a blend of several chilies ground together. Cayenne peppers are medium in size about 2 to 5 inches in length and about 1/2-inch in diameter.

Unlike other peppers in the capsaicin family, cayenne chilies are sold dried and usually are in bunches. Whole chilies can be added to soups, chili and stews. These dried peppers crumble easily to add as little or as much as you need.

Cayenne pepper is often called for to balance a recipe. Remember to use it sparingly; a little goes a long way. I add no more than 1/4 teaspoon to a large batch of soup at a time. Practice STS. Stir. Taste. Stir. It’s hard to balance hot out of a dish without watering it down too much.

These peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical that gives the peppers their heat. Capsaicin is linked to possible health benefits. Naturally high in vitamin A, Cayenne pepper is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties as well a pain reliever. You can even buy pain relief cream with capsaicin in it.

If you are old-fashioned and want to eat your peppers try sprinkling cayenne on your omelet. Add it to seafood and mixing it with Italian seasoning to coat roasted potatoes.

So spice it up pinch at a time!

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About the author

Cindy's Recipes and Writings

As a professional cook, I love creating exciting new recipes on the job as well as at home. Assisting in teaching low-income families how to buy, store and prepare healthy food through Penn State’s alliance with Pennsylvania’s Supercupboard Program was very rewarding. During my 11 years with the Master Gardener program, I taught horticultural therapy to assisted living patients using healthful, fr
esh grown food as a focal point. . My hands-on programs and instruction helped hundreds of children and adults learn about where their food comes from and how important fresh food is for your body.
Currently I’m a cook at a college in Pennsylvania. We prepare everything we can from scratch, including our potato chips that tout the seasoning of the day!
Of course I write about food; it's in my blood!

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